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Deploying and Attacking on the SAME turn?!

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questccg
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Okay I'll keep the details light and highlight as best the situation.

Should I ALLOW a player to "Deploy" a minion and "Attack" on the SAME turn?!

To use a minion to Attack there two (2) options:

  • Basic Attack: Uses some common weapon to inflict some damage
  • Advanced Tactics: Uses some extra ability to prevent, heal, fortify and do more serious damage

To use an Attack (or Ability) you must spend resources. You get five (5) resources per turn which are RANDOM according to your personal Deck-Building Engine.

So the question remains:

Should you allow a minion to ATTACK or use an Ability on the TURN they are played into your field of play?!

Questions/comments are welcomed, I will do my best to answer any queries you may have - in the event that my explanation was NOT clear enough.

Thank you.

questccg
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I think...

** Edited **

I have still not found a solution.

polyobsessive
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Playtest

It really depends on how this all fits in to the game as a whole and what sort of play experience you want.

Being able to build and attack in one turn is likely to make for a faster and more chaotic game with more surprises for the players. Having to wait to attack might make surprise attacks harder and make defences easier (particularly if you can defend with a newly-built minion).

If you're not sure what you want to do and what would happen, I'd recommend playtesting both options and making the decision based on how things actually work in practice.

X3M
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In addition to that. If both

In addition to that. If both options don't sit well.
How about having the minion a weaker attack if it attacks right after summoning?
A summoning sickness penalty. Like -1 or so on its basic attack. Whatever suits your taste.

joebergmann
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For what it's worth

I have a game where the "minions", in my case mutant animals deploy and attack on the same turn. Early in the game they deploy further from the players and so really just move instead of attack. But, later in the game, the players are near the "spawn points" of the animals and get attacked immediately. This adds a real tension build-up during the game, which is what I wanted. No doubt, this does add chaos!

let-off studios
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Rushing Production

X3M wrote:
In addition to that. If both options don't sit well.
How about having the minion a weaker attack if it attacks right after summoning?
A summoning sickness penalty. Like -1 or so on its basic attack. Whatever suits your taste.
In the turn-based computer strategy series Age of Wonders, deployable units are built over a series of one or more turns based on the production capacity of the player's empire. The game allows for players to "rush" the production of units, but at the cost of extra resources (gold and population, in this case), with the cost being higher the more turns required for producing the unit.

I think this is a fair balance of opportunity cost, at least in Age of Wonders. It certainly requires testing to see if it's suitable for your game.

Personally speaking, I would be very cautious in a game where units would be produced and permitted to attack in the same turn. It encourages "turtling" and building up massive military forces before choosing to finally attack. This may add to game time if further rewarded.

FrankM
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Surprises, but limited in scope

let-off studios wrote:
X3M wrote:
In addition to that. If both options don't sit well.
How about having the minion a weaker attack if it attacks right after summoning?
A summoning sickness penalty. Like -1 or so on its basic attack. Whatever suits your taste.
In the turn-based computer strategy series Age of Wonders, deployable units are built over a series of one or more turns based on the production capacity of the player's empire. The game allows for players to "rush" the production of units, but at the cost of extra resources (gold and population, in this case), with the cost being higher the more turns required for producing the unit.

I think this is a fair balance of opportunity cost, at least in Age of Wonders. It certainly requires testing to see if it's suitable for your game.

Personally speaking, I would be very cautious in a game where units would be produced and permitted to attack in the same turn. It encourages "turtling" and building up massive military forces before choosing to finally attack. This may add to game time if further rewarded.


It might be possible to constrain the surprise factor by allowing units to spawn and attack, but set a strict limit on how many units (or how much "power") can spawn in a single turn.

questccg
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All good points BUT...

FrankM wrote:
...It might be possible to constrain the surprise factor by allowing units to spawn and attack, but set a strict limit on how many units (or how much "power") can spawn in a single turn.

Yes I agree to this. First of all the maximum number of units/minions in play (per player) is limited to five (5). Secondly when you play a minion, you MUST discard one (1) resource card from your hand. And you have at most five (5) resources per turn.

So all of that makes good sense.

But I have another problem:

The first player's turn is lost seeing as there will be no other units/minions to attack on his turn.

The next player either KNOWS what he has can deploy and attack (if allowing simultaneous deploy/attack)... So the first player is at a disadvantage that HE doesn't get the chance to ATTACK on HIS turn!?

Any ideas on this one???

Note: Because this is a Deck-Builder too... A player may elect to use THREE (3) Resource cards to BUY one (1) card from the pool of drafting cards. So at most you can buy one (1) card for your Deck (Engine).

Fri
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Here are some possibilities:

Option 1: Let the minion's do something other than attack. Maybe gather resources, build defenses or attack enemy base/boss. So they can do those things if they can't attack other minions for whatever reason.

Option 2: Reduce the resources the second player has the first turn. One way to do this is to have an auction to have the choice of going first or second. This would be payed in resources.

Option 3: Have places on your board that are slightly strategically better. That way the first player can occupy them.

Option 4: Establish a who goes first and second according to deck strength. Similar to who goes first in Scythe.

questccg
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It's really BAD for Player #1

Thinking some more ... and it's even WORST for Player #1. Not only will Player #2 choose to attack him, Player #3 might also attack him knowing that he may well kill the unit/minion.

So going FIRST is a HUGE disadvantage unless you play no unit/minions. But then the problem is asymptomatic because Player #2 will be the one who is disadvantaged (if Player #1 decided to play no units/minions).

I have no idea HOW to solve this issue in an ELEGANT fashion.

Ideas/comments/feedback/suggestions/questions are all welcome!

Cheers.

questccg
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It's not a board game...

Fri wrote:
Option 1 - 4...

Thanks for the response... but it's a Card Game, not a board game. So there is not much Player #1 can do... other than Draft Cards for his Deck (Engine) or play from one (1) to five (5) units/minions.

So A> The Deck is comprised of four (4) resources you use to ATTACK an opposing unit/minion.

Example: Templar

1. [Basic Attack] Short Sword: [4x] 1 Treasure
2. [Advanced] Sacred Oak: [1x] 1 Bloodlust = Halves damage for two (2) turns.

The [4x] means per turn you can use this attack FOUR (4) times each time costing you one (1) Treasure from your Resource hand.

So all cards are units/minions and all they can do is attack/defend/counter-attack. Now if you SPEND all your Resources during your turn, you have no Resources to "counter-attack" (when that option is a possibility...)

Ugh...!

questccg
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Let me explain the gameplay that I predict...

Player #1 uses three (3) Resource cards from his hand to buy ONE (1) Treasure card (for his Resource Deck) and discards all four (4) cards.

Next Player #1 chooses to deploy one (1) unit/minion (which one - doesn't really matter)

Player #1 decides to hold on to two (2) Food Resources so he can counter 2x.

Player #1 ends his turn.

Player #2 deploys one (1) unit/minion that does DOUBLE damage to Player #1 unit/minion

Player #2 spends 1 Battle Resource from his Resource Deck to deal 40 damage to Player #1 unit

Player #2 deploys a second (2) unit/minion that has a normal attack to Player #1 unit/minion

Player #2 spends 1 Food resource to do 10 damage and KILLS Player #1 unit

Player #2 scores 1 Victory Point (6 VPs to win the game). Player #1 no longer has any unit in play. Player #2 has two (2) units in play.

Player #2 end his turn.

See the problem... Players will always be defeating the preceding player's unit/minion(s). I'm not sure I LIKE this style of gameplay.

Comments/questions/feedback/ideas/suggestions all welcome!

FrankM
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Nothing to attack if there are no minions?

If there is nothing for a minion to do except attack other minions, then it very well could devolve into beating on some previous player. Some off-the-cuff suggestions:

1. Everyone starts with a minion in play. This could be some standard minion determined by faction, or perhaps it's a special (required) type of card chosen during deck-building.

2. Allow minions to attack other players without minions (bases, commanders, cities, whatever). This is probably what gave rise to Summoning Sickness in the first place.

3. Minions either tap to attack (which will seem Magic-y) or retain all damage until the player's turn comes up again. This basically sets up an eternal cycle of whack-the-wounded.

let-off studios
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Prevent Ambush

questccg wrote:
See the problem... Players will always be defeating the preceding player's unit/minion(s). I'm not sure I LIKE this style of gameplay.
Yeah, that would suck for player 1.

I suggest you consider unit production but not action/offense. This allows a player to summon a defense against an imminent assault, but not to unfairly unload on an approaching enemy unit seemingly out of nowhere.

Another option is to consider a production limit of one unit at most per base/location per turn. A third option would be to reduce production capacity at location(s) where enemy units are within "threat" range - whatever distance/number of spaces this means for your game.

Unit capability could also be affected if it's produced last minute, as X3M noted above. Maybe production of a unit at the last minute is of a certain type that has high offense capability, but has reduced defensive capability. It would be useful for repelling enemy assaults, but would otherwise be weak and not worth sending out to attack unless it were later upgraded or retrofitted with better equipment.

Combine this with "rushing" as referenced above, and player 2 may not find it so beneficial to wait until the last minute to produce military units.

questccg
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Summoning Sickness + Whack-the-wounded

Of course "Whack-the-wounded" is tough to solve ... because it's only natural to target a weakened unit/minion BUT I do have a "counter" for this:

1. Each unit/minion has VPs (Victory Points) when defeated.

2. Instead of defeat "X" units/minions ... make it about reaching VP total of let's say 20 VPs.

3. So while attacking a "wounded" WEAK unit/minion only scores 2 points - it may be better attacking another player with a stronger unit/minions to score more points even if that unit/minion has more health.

"Summoning sickness" is more difficult.

I like @FrankM "idea" about each player starting with one (1) unit. Perhaps it could be something like this:

A> Each player plays FREE one (1) unit/minion card face down (hidden).

B> All players reveal their minions at the same time.

C> Player #1 starts his turn as specified above.

And we would rotate who is player #1 each Round (Clock-wise fashion)...

So Player #1 would have first choice over what Player he would choose to attack... And since it is hidden -- the outcome can be a little random.

What does everyone think???

Is this a solution or am I ignoring some other factors that could lead to some other "syndrome"?

Fri
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Could you change your scoring scheme?

Building on the suggestion of starting with a minion in play.
Could you change your scoring scheme to a player score a point (or a variable number of points) if their minion is still in play at the start of their turn? This would probably work even better if attacks where not 100% guaranteed to destroy a minion.

A thought for attack the master is master discards card/attacker gains a cards for X number of hit points.

You could also tie minion that you put into to play to going first. The best minion to put in play gives you the worst starting position.

questccg
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Hmm... You may be on to something!

Fri wrote:
Could you change your scoring scheme to a player score a point (or a variable number of points) if their minion is still in play at the start of their turn? This would probably work even better if attacks where not 100% guaranteed to destroy a minion.

Then players would attack the STRONGEST unit/minion(s) first. So it means being "top dog" is a reasonable penalty.

Fri wrote:
You could also tie minion that you put into to play to going first. The best minion to put in play gives you the worst starting position.

Ya I like this idea... Weakest units go first, strongest last. Maybe that could work also.

What I like about this is that the goal would be a "middle of the road" kind of strategy.

But what do you do with TIES??? How do we resolve those: what if every one plays a 40 point card (90 being to top and 10 being the bottom).

Fri
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Ties

Ties broken by deck strength.

Fri
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ties

Or better yet by a secondary number on the card like Libertalia.

(https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/125618/libertalia)

questccg
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Instead of 1, maybe it should be 3

Since it doesn't COST anything to PLAY a unit/minion... Maybe it should be the MAXIMUM units/minions per round and therefore three (3) instead of five.

And the play order would be Player #1 and clockwise fashion for that round. The next round would be Player #2 to start and again clockwise fashion making Player #1 the last player to play.

I didn't like the "tie" resolution, so I am opting to remove it.

If it's not SIMPLE to figure out the order... I don't want it making the game too complicated...

Three (3) units per player - opens up the game and really adds more strategic depth. Why? Because you need to balance buying cards from the table for your Resource Deck or attacking with your units/minions... And saving some Resources to counter-attack when another player attacks you.

This is sounding the best direction to go... At the moment.

Cheers!

Update: Maybe it should be even simpler... You should refresh your forces to three (3) units/minions upon the end of your turn. This also might be good too... I can't see any negative consequences as of yet!...

questccg
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Steps for playing the game

Sequence of play:

  1. Everyone plays from one (1) to three (3) cards into their play area face-down such that three (3) cards are in play for each player.
  2. Next, everyone simultaneously reveals all the face-down cards they have chosen.
  3. Player #1 begins the game and draw five (5) Resource cards from his Resource Deck.
  4. He may opt to BUY a card from the Buy piles at the cost of any three (3) Resource cards.
  5. Or he may use the resources at hand to attack one or more opponents.
  6. Or he may end his turn and keep resources in his hand for future battle opportunities.
  7. Player #2 begins his turn...
  8. After all players have played their turn, all player discard their remaining Resource cards (in their hand)
  9. Goto step #1 and repeat.

So the idea is to "refresh" your units/minions in play to THREE (3). If you already have cards that survived the previous round, those stay in play and you can play cards to complement them...

That's what I have following the re-think with all your valuable input.

If anyone has a question/comment/feedback/suggestion/critique feel free to reply...

Cheers!

joebergmann
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It's getting better!

I really like the idea of the simultaneous reveal. Then player one is less likely to get progressively whacked on without recourse.

Could step 5 become "he may declare attacks" and then all battles are resolved after all players have had this chance to declare attacks (this would be step 7a)? Not sure how this would work, but it may result in some interesting deal making at the table...

questccg
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Things to think about

joebergmann wrote:
Could step 5 become "he may declare attacks" and then all battles are resolved after all players have had this chance to declare attacks...

Well the issue about "declaring attacks" is that the "defender" gets to choose which of his units will defend. And there are a couple of issues with that approach:

  1. I'm using an RPS-9 to determine who can attack who. This means that you can't just choose any defender. You attack a specific unit/minion.

  2. That unit/minion may COUNTER (if the RPS-9 allows) and retaliate given the opposing player has sufficient Resources to do so. So retaliation is possible but less likely because of Resource constraints and availability.

  3. Sometimes an attack does DOUBLE damage (again depending on the RPS-9). So players will seek out those battles FIRST to inflict and defeat to earn Victory Points (VPs). Then they'll seek out SINGLE attacks where only their unit/minion can do any damage ... and then LASTLY DUAL attacks where both units/minions can attack and do damage.

My guess is that most battles won't go beyond SINGLE attacks unless there are VPs to be won. Then a player may risk a DUAL attack - where he defeats the opposing minion.

But I'll have to do more planning and preparation for the cards and abilities. Right now it's 10 cards with some abilities - I'm just not sure about. So I'll need to revise and review to determine what the cards should be for the "core" deck.

Cheers.

questccg
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Makes for an interesting SALES MODEL

Well the goal is to lower the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership). So by dividing the game into two (2) distinct parts, I think it would be possible to achieve the lowest cost for purchasing the game.

Part #1: The Resource "core" = the Little Engine That Could!

This "core" features sixty (60) Resource cards, a rulebook and one dry-erase pen. It is considered the shared resource pool where players draft cards from this area of the game.

By default - each player has ten (10) Resource cards at the beginning of the game. Resource cards are used to pay for using Basic Attacks or Advanced Tactics. They may also be used to buy a Resource card from the shared pool.


Part #2: Custom "Micro" Deck = Customizable/Collectible Cards.

This deck is customized by each player and is unique based on the Deck-Construction that occurs prior to meeting for a game. This is ten (10) cards that are hand-selected to be your battle crew for a game.

Cards are collectible and customizable by buying different cards and meshing their abilities into a custom "Micro" deck.

Each player (from 2 to 6) has his/her own "Micro" deck - and those cards are never shared with any of his/her opponents. Likewise each opponent also has his/her own "Micro" deck.

Included with this "Micro" deck and ten (10) starting "Resource" cards for your "Resource" deck (Engine).


So your Game Master would bring the "core" and everyone else would bring their "decks". And then the battle could begin!

This convoluted Sales Model is to allow the most flexibility when buying the game. Does your gaming group need a 2nd "Game Master"?? In the event that the other doesn't show up to the soiree?!

All these questions can be flexibly examined while BUYING the game.

The goal being to lower the cost of owning and playing the game...

Comments/questions/feedback all welcome. Cheers.

questccg
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Aftermarket Sales

The other thing that I want to "explore" with this design is the "Aftermarket" sales model. Since part of the game is "Micro" customize decks made up of ten (10) cards, there could be two (2) things that could be of value:

  1. The cards used as "currency". Like for making exchanges or trades. Why? Because if I design a "Market" for the availability of cards, some cards may be more valuable because lots of players are using them (or buying them).

  2. The cards as an investment. If the availability of cards varies, this sets up the possibility to make cards as "collectible" items.

Two interesting facets that I might like to explore with this game concept.

questccg
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Getting back to the game...

Your goal would be to accumulate 20 Victory Points (VPs). Each unit/minion has a health and a point value. Usually the two amounts are somewhat related to each other.

So say an 8 point Warlord ("The Duke") has a health of 60 points.

Next he has a "Basic Attack" (Sacred Sword) which is [3x] 1 Battle and deals 15 damage.

His "Advanced Tactics" (Holy Cause) which is [2x] 1 Treasure can convert to one (1) Battle Token.

This means that by spending those one resources, the player converts 1 Treasure into a Battle Token -- Allowing "The Duke" to fight at a later time or even on this same turn...

Now that sounds "interesting"!!!

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